7 Best Practices For Periscope

7 best practices for periscope

Today we’re going to focus on Periscope, a new platform that is becoming more and more useful and relevant for people and organizations!

Below are some practices for this platform that I hope you will find helpful.

Be aware of environment and surroundings.

Because the broadcasts on Periscope is live, it’s important that you are intentional about choosing a place and time that reduces the risk of issues arising during the broadcast. Periscope wisely by paying attention to your surroundings before you go live. Someone could come by and say inappropriate things or interrupt you in some way, and you definitely do not want something to happen that could damage your ministry’s image or name.

Pay attention to your phone service and wi-fi reception.

I have watched plenty of Periscope broadcasts where this has been a problem. Sometimes it is hard to control, especially if you are outside or riding in a car, but it is important to do your best to assure good service during your broadcasts. The last thing you want is for your video to cut out in the middle of something important you’re discussing and not know that it is not working for your viewer.

Announce it beforehand.

Twitter will send out a notification when you go live in addition to the Periscope app sending a notification to your followers, but it is also good to send out an invitation on social networks to join you on Periscope before you go live. You may do this an hour, 30 minutes, and/or 5 minutes before you go live, just to give your viewers a heads up.

Plan your conversation.

Periscope is one of those platforms where you have to keep your viewer’s attention. A great way to prepare for success is to make sure there is a list of things you’re planning to talk about, and to remind your audience of the flow of conversation for those joining sporadically. Having a list of topics or talking points will help prevent you from rambling and being disorganized and uninteresting.

Acknowledge your audience.

The majority of your audience most likely will not show up on your live broadcast until a minute or so has passed of you speaking. Be mindful of the people joining (you’ll see each one pop up as they join) and welcome them by name if you can! When they ask questions, answer them as quickly as possible and make it relevant to as many people as you can.

Be on the lookout for trolls.

As on any other social network, trolls may pop in on your broadcast, possibly with bad language or rude comments. Never fear! Periscope allows you to block users from your broadcasts easily by holding your finger down on their name and choosing to block. Just make sure to be cautionary in this and use your wisdom in choosing who to block and who to lovingly answer.

Be authentic and show the back stage.

One of the best aspects of Periscope is the ability for users to join live broadcasts and interact with the person scoping. A great example of a proper use of Periscope is showing the “back stage” of your ministry – your worship team setting up for a Sunday morning, your creative team talking about upcoming planning of events, your pastor or leadership team talking about what’s on their heart that day. Let this platform be a place where you show the authentic and relatable parts of your ministry. This allows your community to feel apart of what you’re doing as an organization and like their questions and comments are heard and known!

Any questions or comments about Periscope? Share them below!

Advertisements

Content Strategy Example 3 :: Twitter

twitter

Today we’re continuing the series of content strategies for individual social networks. You can see the previous tips posted for Facebook and Instagram if you’d like.

The third and final one we’ll look at is Twitter.

Like last time, let’s look at who is on this social network and when.

The Who

Photo from Sprout Social
Photo from Sprout Social

Ages

37% of adults 18–29 use Twitter.
25% of adults 30–49 use Twitter.
12% of adults 50–64 use Twitter.
10% of adults 65+ use Twitter.

Gender

24% of adult men use Twitter.
21% of adult women use Twitter.

Education

30% have graduated college.
24% have some college experience.
16% are high school grads or less.

The When

Buffer did a study based on their analysis over 4.8 million tweets across 10,000 profiles and derived some very helpful information, as shown in the graphics below.

Photo from Buffer
Photos from Buffer
Best-Times-to-Tweet-for-Engagement-USA
Photo from Buffer

To be efficient in our communication on Twitter, it’s important that we consider when our audience is online. Twitter is very much a real-time platform and information can easily get lost if not posted at the right time.

The Examples

Here I’m going to give you a preview of three examples of good content, taken from social media accounts of ministries I follow!

This is an example from Seeds Coffee Company, a local coffee shop in Birmingham.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.28.32 AM

It’s a good example of the use of hashtags, mentions, photos, and essential information. It combines all of these into one post which is great for their audience and great for their engagement. By mentioning the artist, the artist can then retweet this post if he chooses, allowing the post to be seen by all of his followers. By including the hashtag, anyone that searches “Birmingham” will most likely see this post as well. The picture is great because it is more likely to grab the attention of the follower.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.30.16 AM

This is another great example by Redstone Church that includes appropriate hashtag use, mentioning, and information. It also includes a call to action (a request for the follower to perform some kind of task. That can be retweeting, answering a question, etc.) which can increase engagement.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.29.04 AM

I like this post by (In)courage because it offers encouragement to followers as well as a connection to a blog post that furthers the conversation shortened in this tweet.

+ + + +

I hope this post has given you some tidbits on how to better your Twitter account! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

Sources: Sprout Social, Buffer

Content Strategy Example 2 :: Facebook

facebook

Today we’re continuing the series of content strategies for individual social networks. You can see the previous one posted for Instagram here.

The second one we’ll look at is Facebook.

Like last time, let’s look at who is on this social network and when.

The Who

Social-Demographics-facebook
Photo from Sprout Social

Ages

87% of adults 18–29 use Facebook.
73% of adults 30–49 use Facebook.
63% of adults 50–64 use Facebook.
56% of adults 65+ use Facebook.

Gender

Facebook attracts a majority of women, with 77% of adult females on the site and 66% adult males.

Education

77% of adults who make less than $30,000 use Facebook.
74% of adults who make between $50,000-$74,999 use Facebook.
72% of adults who make over $75,000 use Facebook.
69% of adults who make between $30,000–$49,000 use Facebook.

The When

Below is a graphic that describes the best times of day to post on Facebook depending on the interaction you’re looking for.

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 8.03.22 PM
Photo from Quick Social

Below is another graphic which shows the best days on which to post.

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 8.03.40 PM
Photo from Quick Social

The Examples

Here I’m going to give you a preview of three examples of good content, taken from social media accounts of ministries I follow!

Video

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 8.13.46 PM

This is an example from Church of the Highlands’s Facebook page. Videos are great for engagement on Facebook. When posted, they automatically play on your followers’ newsfeeds and offer a more personal touch to your page whether it’s an invitation to an event or a thank you to volunteers. What I love about this post is that the speaker is being connected to the church where he will be speaking through the pastor. It offers a relationship view to the follower by Pastor Chris introducing the speaker, mentioning his friendship with him, and inviting followers to the event.

Link

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 8.16.15 PM

This is an example from Redstone Church’s Facebook page. This post is a good model because it offers a simple instruction and a direct link to the page mentioned. This allows followers easy access to information they may be looking for or possibly a way to information they didn’t know they needed.

Event

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 8.20.58 PM

This is an example from S.A.V.E.’s Facebook page. S.A.V.E. is a nonprofit organization created by one of my peers at Samford University. Events are helpful on Facebook because your followers can RSVP, share the event, and comment and ask questions about the event.

+ + + +

I hope this post has given you some tidbits on how to better your Facebook account! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

Sources: Sprout Social, Quick Social

7 Things I’ve Learned As A Ministry Marketer

As I’ve mentioned before, I am currently the Marketing Intern at Redstone Church in Vestavia, AL. With the experiences I’ve had there in addition to what I’m learning in my classes as a marketing major at Samford University, I want to share with you some things I’ve learned in the past year.

This is indeed more so a post of encouragement rather than a how-to, but as brothers and sisters in Christ, I believe it’s important to encourage one another in our work for the Kingdom.

7things

  1. Not to put my value as a ministry marketer in the numbers. I’ve always been a numbers person. As a lover of math and structure, numbers make sense to me and provide me with a type of security. However, numbers can also be dangerous when I put my value in them. I’ve learned and been reminded again and again of this: the value of the gifts God has given me to do this work cannot be measured in numerics. It can’t be scored, tallied, or counted. Your value isn’t represented in the number of likes you can accumulate, how many followers you have on an account, or your reach for a particular week. Your value is found in Jesus alone.
  2. Not to focus on growing the numbers. With a business-focused mind, the focus is to sell, to increase the numbers. Thank the Lord that in ministry, that is not our main focus. Our focus in this space of marketing our ministries is to encourage people, reach people, and glorify God in all things. We are called to do our best with the gifts and resources He’s given us, and to do everything short of sin to reach as many people as we can for Christ, but to leave the growth of our Eternal Family and His Church up to Him. We need to trust that as we are obedient, He is faithful.
  3. It’s all about trial-and-error. Subconsciously, I guess I thought this whole thing was going to come easily. I’m a marketing student and my generation is so familiar with social media that it’s practically our second language. It was humbling to remember that, no matter how true those facts are, I don’t know everything and there’s always more to learn. Social media and the world around us changes every day, and we must do what we can to adapt to the way it receives communication. I’ve sat down with quite a few social media managers of ministries and have asked them how they decide what content to write and when. Answers vary, but it always comes back to one thing: trial-and-error. The great thing about the environment that we’re marketing in is that we aren’t generally motivated by quotas of followers and reach, we are motivated by lives changing.
  4. I need a daily reminder of my purpose. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” – (Galatians 6:9-10 NASB) Often times I get caught up in the job aspect of this position. I have my to-do list and my planner out and I spend hours scheduling and planning posts and content. There are days where I slip into an attitude of complaining and weariness. I see the numbers standing still and I feel defeated. This goes back to not placing your value there, but it also points to the importance of trust. Let us pray daily that we will rejoice in the little things and in the opportunity to pour into peoples’ lives in such a big way. We are doing good for the Kingdom with every work day. Let us be glad in that God is using us and trust that we’re reaping despite what we see.
  5. Importance of knowing your community. Really knowing the people of your church and ministry – the leaders and the congregation – is so important in connecting with them on social media. Being familiar with their lives, reactions, preferences, and personalities is helpful to the formulation of content and structure of your social media platforms. This also helps you to know the best way to encourage them and give them the information they need and want most effectively.
  6. Importance of adapting to the culture. When I first came to Redstone, I unknowingly used terms in my posts on social media that I adapted from my home church and its culture. My wordage and terminology were from the environment of a different space and didn’t fit the culture of the church I was speaking for. {Here’s an example: In posts advertising for their Sunday services, I was often using the term “worship”, which is a word they aim not to use. Instead, they use the term “sing” in order to make the unchurched person feel more comfortable.} It’s important for us as ministry marketers to be aware and conscious of the words we use to speak for the ministry we’re marketing for. Let’s join leadership in being intentional to create a culture of welcome, whatever that may look like for your ministry.
  7. I don’t always have the words. When I’m posting about an event, I have a pretty easy time saying what I want to say and relaying the right information to my audience. It’s when I’m wanting to encourage the Redstone community and speak truth into their week that I come up short. I’ve been reminded lately that I need to leave room and time for God to speak to my heart what to say to His people. He has given us such a huge opportunity in the space of social media to speak truth to people; let’s choose to let Him give us the words.

I hope this post encouraged and spoke truth to your heart! Be affirmed that you’re doing a good work, and that God is using every post to benefit His Kingdom. Keep working hard and doing your best, because that is enough.

+ + + +

For an additional word of encouragement, I would direct you to one of my favorite posts here.

Learning Your Audience

2N7DLURDX4

As marketers, the most essential step for knowing how to reach our audience is to know them. As ministers, we need to know our congregation and community in order to connect with them on a deep level.

As ministry marketers, we have the opportunity to love people through our words and our actions in advertising and conversing about our ministry that God has given us to do. You may wince at the previous sentence, being that “love” and “advertising” sound contradictory and odd in the same flow of words. And that’s fair, but that’s the great thing about this whole ‘marketing in ministry’ thing; we are able to show the love of God in spreading the word about what He’s doing through our church or organization (& no worries, we’ll dive deeper into this love-and-marketing pool soon, so stay tuned).

Just like a friend or a family member, your audience/community needs to be known to be loved well. To connect with people most effectively, we must know what grabs their attention, what their normal week day looks like, what stage of life they’re in, and what they’re passionate about. Think about the questions you may ask someone to get better acquainted with who they are, and ask those of the people you’re marketing to.

Below are four main aspects of your people you should know to connect and market to them well:

1. Who are they?

When you send out a post on social media, who is seeing it? Is it a community of college kids who take interest in movies and concerts? Is it a group of young parents who have young families? Find out their demographics: their age, their family position, their life stage, their career, their location, etc. Get a general idea for who you’re talking to so you can communicate with them more effectively and love them better.

2. What’s going on in their lives?

Once you know the basic information about who you’re marketing to, dive deeper and find out what’s going on in their day-to-day lives. The smaller your organization or church is, the easier it will be to connect with more people on this level, but any size ministry can do this in some capacity. If you’re a businessperson, you may know these as ‘touchpoints.’

Is there a couple that is celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary? Is there a family member that is sick? Is someone’s life being changed through an event going on at your church? Is there a person in your community online that is celebrating joy in the little things through a picture of coffee in their cozy living room?

The point here is that we can connect with our people through big and small ways. Reaching out and making people feel loved can be done through something as simple as a short comment or a like on a picture. Show your community that you’re following along with and care about what’s going on in their ordinary days.

3. What times of day are they engaging socially online?

Times of online engagement are important because we want to be intentional about communicating most effectively to our communities. We don’t want to send out a message of encouragement or important information about an upcoming event when the people that we want to see it aren’t online.

Because of the way Facebook works in algorithms and reach, timing is essential to our social media plans. In addition, the lifespan of a tweet on Twitter is a matter of seconds. We must search for the most appropriate times to post our content so it’s seen by the largest amount of our followers as possible.

These times can be found through a number of ways (and we’ll explore these later), but the easiest way for Facebook is through Insights.

4. What do they love to see on social media?

From shadowing a social media coordinator at my home church and doing social media for a church myself, I’ve learned a few things about what people love to see on social media. And that’s people. And stories about people.

An example of this may look like taking a picture of one of your church members who is on the serve team and telling the story of how God has worked in his or her life through that opportunity to advertise for your serve team meeting that week. This would give that member an opportunity to tell their story about what God’s doing in them and the church the opportunity to show the social media world real-life change through real-life people. Stories engage people and connect with them on a deeper level, especially if it’s a story they relate to.

There are other things your community will love to see on your social media in addition to stories. There are two main ways that you can determine what these are, and those are trial-and-error and to simply ask them.

The community at Redstone Church where I intern loves for us to post our #SundaySetList, which is a list of the songs sang at church that Sunday, so they can listen at home. What does your community love to see? Is it weekly encouragement? Is it #MeetTheTeam where you post about a different member of your serve team each week?

Don’t be afraid to try new things and to ask your congregation what they like about what you’re already doing and what they’d like to see more of!

++++

I hope this post has given you a better idea of how to learn your audience. For more tips on ministry marketing, stay tuned! Until then, feel free to write below with any comments and questions!